South Florida's finest talent became superstars on July 21 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Guild's ninth annual Palm Beach Idols. The fundraiser raised approximately $8,800 for the not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of the Performing Arts.
The 2012 Palm Beach Idols were: adult winner Murray "The Kay" Rivette, 80, of Delray Beach, who sang "As Time Goes By" and played harmonica; teen winner Kristy Jo Jabouin, 16, of Wellington, who sang a special version of "Hallelujah," and youth winner Sivan Ben-David, 10, of Fort Lauderdale, who sang "Waiting For Life" from the Broadway musical Once On This Island.
A total of 25 acts performed, chosen from nearly 100 who auditioned. The show included contestants of all ages, with talents that included singing, dancing and those playing musical instruments. A total of $2,625 in cash prizes were given to the winners in each category, chosen by the audience and a panel of celebrity judges. The evening was emceed by radio host Kathy Greene, program director and on-air personality for Jupiter's hometown radio station WJTW-FM, and radio veteran Tim Byrd, owner of the voiceover site VoxPower.com and publisher of the popular local blogsite PalmBeachLiveWorkPlay.com.
Previous contestants have gone on to star in Broadway shows such as Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins, and previous teen winner Anthony Espina has gone on to a successful career as a movie composer.
"The audience response was absolutely fantastic this year. The contestants were all very talented, and I'm sure it was very difficult for the judges and audience to choose the winners," said Eileen Weissmann, the event's producer and Guild member. "We were particularly thrilled that previous contestant Murray Rivette won in the adult category, at 80 years young. He is so talented, and he proved to all of us that age is truly just a number."
In the adult category, second and third places went to singer Eric Murray, 43, of Jupiter, who sang "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Misérables, and singer and guitar player Robert Caperna, 21, of Jupiter, who performed the Jason Mraz hit "The World As I See It." In the teen category, second and third places went to Jillian Lavin, 17, of Palm Beach Gardens, who sang "On My Own" from Les Misérables, and Jennifer Ashley Kearney, 17, of Palm Beach Gardens, who sang a tribute to Whitney Houston, "The Greatest Love of All." In the youth category, second and third place winners went to Maggie Baugh, 12, of Boca Raton, who played guitar and sang her own original song "Middle School," and Emily Vyalkova, 8, of Orlando, who sang "Castle on a Cloud," also from Les Misérables.
The show is an annual fundraiser for the Guild, which raises money to support the Theatre and its Conservatory. The Conservatory offers classes taught by Broadway-caliber instructors in dance, voice, acting and musical theatre for students of all ages, including summer camps.
The next opportunity to see youth perform on the Theatre's stage will be July 27 and 28, when students from the Conservatory's Junior Conservatory camp perform Willy Wonka Jr. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for children.
To purchase tickets, call the box office at (561)575-2223 or visit www.jupitertheatre.org. For information about joining the Guild, call (561) 972-6106.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre Guild is a volunteer organization whose mission is to support the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and its Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts. As ambassadors, the Guild presents fundraising and social events in support of quality arts education and theatre.
Now celebrating its 10th season, the not-for-profit Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida's preeminent professional theatres, committed to production and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Currently the state's largest award-winning regional theatre, the Theatre draws over 70,000 people annually, serves a subscription base of more than 7,400 and has world-class classroom facilities in support of its Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of youth and adults. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and has earned numerous Carbonell Awards, South Florida's highest honor for artistic excellence, including the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence in 2012. For more information about the Theatre's upcoming shows and Conservatory, visit www.jupitertheatre.org or call the box office at (561) 575-2223.